Same-level slip and fall accidents were the primary source of workplace injuries in 2015, totaling nearly 200,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Despite this statistical evidence of the problem, a survey conducted by New Pig found that almost all (92 percent) companies surveyed place floor mats in their entranceways – but left many other risk zones uncovered.
Risky walk zones—such as kitchens, restrooms, loading docks and other areas where leaks or spills frequently occur—regularly go unprotected or are inadequately addressed by most of the companies surveyed.
Only 39 percent of organizations surveyed consider fall prevention a top priority, and most (58 percent) rely on traditional, rented rubber-backed floor mats to address the hazard. This leaves several areas uncovered and often creates new hazards when the mats shift, ripple or curl.
Organizations struggle to control slips, trips and falls. Forty-two percent of respondents confirmed at least one fall in the past year. Five percent of respondents had more than five falls in the past year.
Survey results show the frequently serious consequences of preventable falls. Eighteen percent of reported falls involved a non-employee. Nearly a quarter of respondents (23 percent) said their company had previously experienced at least one fall that resulted in a workers’ compensation claim or legal action. Eight percent have paid out a fall-related financial settlement at some point.
Organizations may be aware of the safety risk but lack confidence in their ability to address it, according to the survey. Seventy-one percent of respondents feel they either have no control, or only some control of slips, trips and falls; ; just 22 percent reported being in complete control.
Fifty-one percent of respondents reported the entranceway as a location where most falls occur in their facility. Rain and snow brought in from outside was a likely cause of many of those, with 37 percent reporting that as the primary cause of falls in their building. Most organizations try to address that area; 92 percent report placing floor mats in entranceways.
But many slips, trips and falls occur in “underserved” areas such as employee walkways, where 24 percent of respondents reported falls, customer walkways (14 percent of respondents), around equipment or machines (23 percent), frequent spill areas (20 percent) and the kitchen (9 percent). Most of these fall zones are not covered with any type of floor mat.
In March 2017, New Pig conducted a survey of professionals in maintenance, safety, health, risk and facilities management roles, across industries spanning manufacturing and public-facing facilities, such as supermarkets, retail and other commercial spaces. The data presented in this report is from 369 completed surveys. All fall-related questions focused only on same-level falls, excluding falls from heights.
Source: New Pig’s “The Walk Zone Safety Report” www.newpig.com/walk-zone-safety